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Ordained Bishop of Milan in the year 374 or 375.
Faith the Foundation of the Church.
Faith, therefore, is the foundation of the church, for it was not said of the flesh of Peter, but of his faith, that the gates of hell should not prevail against it.- On the Mystery of the Lord's Incarnation, ch. 5, p. 711. (Bened. edit. Paris, 1690.)
The Keys. To you, he says, I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven that you may bind and loose.
What is said to Peter is said to the Apostles.--Exposition of Psalm 38, tom. 1, p. 858. (Edit. as above.)
Anti-Supremacy of Power. But what do you tell me? Immediately, not unmindful of his place, he enacted the primacy, a primacy of confession, not of honour, a primacy of faith, and not of order.—On the Mystery of our Lord's Incarnation.
Nor was Paul inferior to Peter, although he was the foundation of the church, and the former was the wise architect, knowing how to establish the footsteps of the people. Paul was not, I say, unworthy of the college of the apostles, but might be compared with the first, and was second* to none. For he who does not acknowledge himself to be unequal, makes himself equal.-On the Holy Spirit, book 2. (Edit. as above.)
Against the Judicial Power of the Priests in Forgiving Sins. Behold! sins are pardoned by the Holy Spirit. But men bring a ministry for the remission of sins, they do not exercise the right of any power. On the Holy Spirit, book 3, c. 18. (Edit. as above.)
Therefore, no one is without sin but God alone * * * Also no onę pardons sins but God only, because it is equally written, Who can pardon sins but God alone ?-On the Holy Spirit, book 3, c. 18. (Edit. as above.)
Elsewhere Ambrose seems to favour Peter's supremacy.
Fides ergo est ecclesiæ fundamentum, non enim de carne Petri, sed de fide dictum est, quia portæ mortis ei non prævalebunt.De, Incarn. Dom. Sacram. lib. i, ch. 3, p. 711. (Bened. Edit. Parisiis 1690.)
Tibi, inquit, dabo claves regni cælorum, ut et solvas et ligas. • Quod Petro dicitur, apostolis dicitur.-In Psalm. 38, Enarr. p. 858, tom. I. (Parisiis, 1690.)
Vos autem quid me dicitis ? Statim loci non immemor sui, primatum egit, primatum confessionis utique, non honoris, primatum fidei pon ordinis.-De Incarne. Sac. lib. 1. (Paris. 1690.)
Nec Paulus inferior Petro, quamvis ille ecclesiæ fundamentum, et hic sapiens architectus sciens vestigia credentium fundare populorum ; nec Paulus, inquam, indignus apostolorum collegio, cum primo quoque facile conferendus, et nulli secundus. Nam qui se imparem nescit, facit æqualem.-De Spiritu Sanct, lib. 2. (1690.)
Ecce quia per Spiritum Sanctum peccata donantur. Homines autem in remissionem peccatorum ministerium suum exhibent, non jus alicujus potestatis exercent.- De Spir. Sanc. lib. 3, c. 18. Sine peccato itaque nemo est, nisi unus Deus.
Peccata quoque nemo condonat, nisi unus Deus, quia æquè scriptum est, Quis potest peccata donare, nisi solus Deus ?-Ibidem. (Bened, edit. Parisiis, 1690.)
Anti- Images. The gentiles worship wood, because they think that it is the image of God. But the image of the invisible God is not in that which is seen, but in that which is not seen.-On Psalm 118, tom. 1, p. 1095. (Edit. as above.)
The church knows no vain ideas, and vain figures of images; but she knoweth the true substance of the Trinity. On the Flight of Time, vol. 1. (Edit. as above.)
Justification by Faith only. I have nothing, therefore, whereby I may glory in my works; I have nothing to boast of, and, therefore, I will glory in Christ.' 1 will not glory because I am righteous, but because I am redeemed. I will not glory because I am free from sin, but because my sins are pardoned. I will not glory because I have done good to any one, or any one has done good to me, but because Christ is
advocate with the Father, and because Christ's blood was shed for me.-Concerning Jacob and a Happy Life, book 1, c. 6. (Edit. as abore.)
Therefore let no one boast of his works, because no one can be justified by his works; but he who is just receives it as a gift, because he is justified by the washing of regeneration. It is faith, therefore, which delivers us by the blood of Christ, because blessed is he whose sins are forgiven, and to whom pardon is granted.-Letter 73. (Edit. as above.)
Ye behold the mysteries, ye behold the grace of Christ, and the grace of the Holy Spirit, which is conferred in some sort fortuitously; forasmuch as every one is not justified by the Lord by reason of his works, but by reason of his faith.-An Exhortation to Virginity. (Bened. edit. Parisiis, 1606.)
The Church may sometimes be concealed. In the same manner as the church has her times of persecution and peace; for she seems to fail like the moon, but she does not fail-she may be overshadowed, but she does not fail.-(Edit. as above.)
On Reading the Scriptures. Be not alarmed because the cup of Babylon is a golden cup, for you drink out of the cup of wisdom, which is more precious than gold and silver. Drink of each cup, therefore, of the Old and New Testament, because you drink of Christ from each. Drink Christ,
Gentiles lignum adorant quia Dei imaginem pulant; sed invisibilis Dei imago non in eo est quod videtur, sed in eo utique quod non videtur.-In Psalm 118, p. 1095. (Edit. ut supra.)
Ecclesia inanes ideas, et vanas nescit simulachrorum figuras : sed veram novit Trinitatis substantianı.—De Fuga Sæculi, tom. 1. (Edit, ut supra.)
Non habeo igitur unde gloriari in operibus meis possum, non habeo unde me jactem, et ideo gloriabor in Christo. Non gloriabor, quia justus sum; sed gloriabor quia redemtus sum. Gloriabor, non quia vacuus peccatis sim, sed quia mihi remissa sunt peccata. Non gloriabor quia profui, neque quia profuit mihi quisquam, sed quia pro me advocatus apud Patrem Christus est, sed quia pro me Christi sanguis effusus est.-De Jacob. et Vita Beata, tom. 1, lib. I, ch. 6. (Parisiis.) 1690.
Et ideo nemo glorietur in operibus, quia nemo factis suis justificatur; sed qui justus est, donatum habet, quia per lavacrum justificatus est. Fides ergo est quæ liberat per sanguinem Christi, quia beatus ille cui peccatum remittitur, et venia donatur. Epist. class 2, epist. 73.
Videtis mysteria, videtis gratiam Christi, gratiam Spiritus Sancti qui velut quadam sorte defertur ; quoniam non ex operibus, sed ex fide unusquisque justificatur a Domino.-Exhortatio Virginits. liber 1, ch.7. (Bened. edit. Parisiis, 1686.)
Et ut ecclesia tempora sua habeat, persecutionis videlicit et pacis. Nam videtur sicut luna deficere, sed non deficit. Obumbrari potest, deticere non potest.-Ilexæmeron, lib. 4, ch. 2.
Nec te moveat quod Babylonis aureum poculum est, quia et tu bibis poculum sapientiæ, quæ sit auro argentoque pretiosior. Utrumque poculum bibe Veteris et Novi Testamenti, quia ex utroque Christum bibis. Bibe Christum, ut bibas sanguinem quo redemtus that you may drink the blood with which you are redeemed: drink Christ, that you may drink his discourses. His discourse is the Old Testament; his discourse is the New Testament. The Holy Scripture is drunk and devoured, when the juice of the eternal Word descends into the veins and energies of the mind. Lastly, man lives not by bread alone, but by every word of God. Drink_this word, but drink it in its right order. First drink it in the Old Testament, and make haste to drink it in the New Testament.--Exposition of the 1st Psalm. (Edit. as above.)
Scriptures the Rule of Faith. How can we adopt those things which we do not find in the Holy Scriptures.-On the Duties of Ministers, book 1, tom. 2. (Printed at Paris, 1690.)
I read that he is first; I do not read that he is second. Let them who say that he is second teach it by reading.–A Book on the Restoration of a Virgin. (Edit. as above.)
Anti-Transubstantiation. In eating and drinking the things which are offered for us, we signify the flesh and the blood. You receive the sacrament as a similitude; it is the figure of the body and blood of the Lord. You drink the likeness of his precious blood.- On the Sacraments, * book 4, c. 4. (Edit. as above.)
He was elected bishop of Cesarea about the year 369.—Dupin.
The Scriptures the Rule of Faith. It is a falling from the faith, and a crime of the greatest pride to desire to take away from the Scriptures, or to introduce any thing that is not written.t For Christ says that his sheep hear his voice and not the voice of another. In his discourse upon faith. Bened. Edit. (Printed at Paris, 1722.)
• Many of the Romanists dispute the authenticity of this treatise. Their best assignable reason seems to be, that it is not orthodor!! Howover, in another treatise, Ambrose apparently favours transubstantiation.
+ In his work against Eunomius, Basil places tradition on a par with Scripture.